April 22, 2000

Mexicans celebrate Holy Week by burning effigies

                   MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Effigies of devils and hated public figures were paraded
                   through the city's main plaza Saturday, in preparation for the centuries-old Holy
                   Week tradition of burning "Judas," as the cardboard figures are known.

                   The effigies originally represented Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus. The
                   fireworks-stuffed figures gradually evolved to a form of folk protest, and this
                   year they included effigies of Uncle Sam, a former president and a music
                   producer involved in a sex scandal.

                   About eight of the figures, measuring up to 18 feet in height, were deposited in
                   the main square, where they will be torched later Saturday.

                   One figure bore the prominent ears of former president Carlos Salinas de Gortari,
                   widely blamed for the 1994 peso crisis and ensuing recession; another
                   represented Sergio Andrade, the manager of pop star Gloria Trevi.

                   Trevi and Andrade were arrested Jan. 13 in Brazil after Mexican prosecutors
                   accused them of corrupting young girls. The suspects have denied any

                   Copyright 2000 The Associated Press.